Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday as it's supposed to be.

Yesterday was my son's birthday. He was working an evening shift, so he didn't get home from work til after eleven.  My daughter had planned a birthday party for him, with "buffalo burghers", a cake, presents and some of their friends from work.  I called to wish him a happy birthday but we didn't get to talk long as it would have been rude for him to abandon their guests.

About one in the morning a big cold front passed through, with an intense lightning display and much rain and thunder. I went out on the porch and watched it for about half an hour. I took the flood light and shined it into the rain, which created a very strange effect. Within the tunnel of the light you could see the woods, but it was like boring a hole through a black stone.  You couldn't see anything outside that cone of light unless the lightning lit things up.

At around three, both dogs started to howl.  They almost never do that.  I went out again. The dogs and cats were all clustered around one end of the porch, staring intently into the woods. The dogs were bristled up and the cats were fluffed up. Whatever was out there, was apparently not welcomed by the resident animals. I can't really understand the howling. Barking would have been the more normal reaction.

Got up around one this afternoon, and made myself a good breakfast (brunch, lunch?) of fried potatoes and garlic sausage. I set off both smoke detectors in the kitchen but that's part of the price for walking away from the frying pan and letting the oil get too hot. When you live in a log house, you are never far from a smoke detector.


 Outside it's cool and the air is much drier.  There's a light wind blowing.

The only sound coming out of the woods is the occassional Blue Jay, Wood Pecker, Crow, or the ever droning cicadas.

There was some shooting last night, way off in the distance but I have no idea what it was.  Given that it was taking place in the forest in the wee hours of the morning, I doubt it was target practice.





The rest of the day I will spend listening to the radio.  Sunday is a good day for talk radio on our sole local station. I like listening to the talk radio programs because they tend to focus on one issue each broadcast, and you can learn a lot more about a specific topic than you can by listening to a 30 second sound bite on television. Later in the day they play music from the 1940's, and I try to listen to that program every Sunday.







All is quiet in the ether, most people who's blogs I read are not writing just now.  Taking the weekend off doing something else, no doubt.  I am still not sure if I lost any comments when that post collapsed blogger on my head earlier in the week.  Since no one has written to say their comment didn't post, I may not have.   I hope everyone knows that I wouldn't fail to publish a comment written by my friends.

51 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Not much going on here.

    been cleaning the kitchen, that's it really.

    Im taking my time with it because I just feel flat out kinda lazy today. Im reading a book by Kevin J. Anderson, a science fiction. In the book, a family has a 'Compy" a computerized, competent companion (a small human looking Robot) Compy's for short can be programmed for anything from flying spacecraft, to cleaning houses and cooking. I would like to have a few. One for housework, one for yard work and the other programmed to be an excellent mechanic on cars and trucks. Compy's are AI's but still are programmed to do certain things. In one of the previous books of the series a Compy was modified to be full AI (artificially intelligent) and was given the choice to break from its programming. It stayed with the human that it was programmed to help out of friendship.

    For many years I have studied artificial intelligence and the ramifications it could have on humanity. True AI in my opinion comes when machines develop emotions and experiences. Machines would have to grow a personality like a child growing and developing into an adult and becoming fully self aware and have the ability to choose their own destiny.

    The most advanced AI we have now is just machines learning from their mistakes. Its a start, but the hardware and software is much, much to primitive to allow a 'personality' to grow inside a machine.
    I think true AI is decades away at best. One thing of interest. Scientist have grown human brain tissue (about the size of a pencil eraser) I think biological computers would be the AI's of the future.

    I have to say that I am "neither for nor against" AI development. I think it will happen just as the development of nuclear weapons happened, regardless if we like it or not.

    The book I am reading is called 'The Blood of the Cosmos' by Kevin J. Anderson. It is based on a series of books called the 'Elemental War' so far its been eight books in the series.

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    1. Sundays were made for taking things easy. It's a day to just enjoy and not worry about anything that may be looming on the horizon.

      Artificial Intelligence is generally conceded to be one of the biggest threats to humanity as a whole. History Channel and Science Channel have both had good programs on AI, and "Through the Wormhole" did a couple of shows on the concept.

      I look at it this way. I don't like the things people as a group do. Much of what they do, like willfully destroying the environment in order to squeeze more oil out of the ground (I've seen this first hand), is illogical. So I doubt an artificial intelligence that can make it's own decisions is going to want to reach out and give humanity as a whole a big hug.

      Did you ever see the Twilight Zone episode about a society that maroons violent prisoners on asteroids? The guy has been on an asteroid for years, and the government gives him an android configured as a woman for companionship. It ages as he does. Then, after twenty years, he gets paroled. But there's only room on the ship taking him back to earth for him, so he blissfully abandons his companion. The last scene is of the ship taking off, and the android, which has a full range of human emotions, is standing there quietly being left behind for eternity.

      That's how people work.

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    2. i am glad that i have never seen that episode...it is heartbreaking Harry!

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    3. Kymber, The Twilight Zone had a lot of stories that ended badly for the people in them. Part of the allure was knowing that you couldn't predict the end of the story,and sometimes they were real shockers. That was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

      Delete
    4. To Serve Man.

      That was a really creepy episode.

      Delete
  2. The bad thing about lightning (now that we have folks living across the road) is that I can't porch-sit after dark in my skivvies to watch the light show! lol

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    1. That's the blissful thing about living so far out in the mountains that nobody is around. You don't have to take into account anything except what you want. There are some hardships associated with living out here, but they pale in comparison to the benefits of that one fact alone.

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    2. i looooove not having to wear any skivvies!!! sorry if that is TMI!!!!

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    3. Well, nothing wrong with that. On your own place you ought to be able to do whatever you want to do, including going around au naturale if that's what you like.

      The only problem would be somebody driving up. I think that happened to you once , as I recall. ;-) Seems like I remember you posting about being in the hot tub and some kind of delivery guy showed up. Oops!

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    4. Harry - our neighbour came up the driveway the other day at about 6am in the morning - she was frantic and needed our help. we were still in bed and she was banging on the door calling for us. we came running when she woke us and none of us can remember if we were dressed or not - bahahahah! of course jam was dressed when he left to help her but i don't think we were dressed when we answered the door!!!

      and yes - we have had a few instances of being caught "au naturale"! but life's too short...don't you agree?

      i left you a proper comment at the bottom of this post...did you get it? sending much love, as always! your friend,
      kymber

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    5. Kymber, what was up with the neighbor? That sounds like there might have been a real problem there.

      I haven't got to the bottom yet, but nothing out of the ordinary has happened to the blog today ( I'm about due for some days free of blogger acting up) so I am sure it is there. I'll check it out in a second as I scroll down.

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    6. Harry - it was pretty bad. our friend/neighbour's son's girlfriend had completely flipped her car over a few times with her 7month old baby in it. the girlfriend knew that her stepmother, our friend, would be coming along any minute so she got the baby out of the car and waited at the side of the road (there's only one road in and out to our city and no cell phone coverage). anyway, when our friend/neighbour got there, they came here to our house and needed jam's help to get the vehicle off the road and into another neighbour's driveway. they gave me the baby and jam went with them while i called various neighbours to go and help. amazingly, with the help of a friend, jam was able to flip the car over and then tow it to another friend's. i did a full check on the baby and there wasn't a scratch on her. and with 3 howling, hissing cats - she didn't seem to mind at all. i was finally able to get in touch with the baby's great grandmother who came and picked up the baby to take her back to her mother. it was pretty freaky and when i talked to our neighbour/friend later that night and asked if we were dressed when we answered the door - she couldn't remember either. we've been laughing about it for days!

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    7. Kymber, that's a mess. I'm sure glad nobody got hurt. Memory is a funny thing. When the fewmets hit the windmill, I think the brain goes into overdrive on problem resolution, and doesn't really record the non essential parts of the period in question. That's why people who have undergone some traumatic experience often have blanks in their memory. They remember the details of what happened just before, and what happened afterwards, but as far as what happened during the event itself they are often hazy.

      I didn't see another comment at the bottom of the comments here Kymber. I am going to go to the comment details page and see if I can find it there. I am so sick of blogger acting up and screwing around, I can't think why the damned thing is demonstrating all these idiosyncracies on my computer and no one else is having the same problems.

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    8. Harry - you are right on the money - none of us could remember if we were dressed or not because firstly, our neighbour knows we are never dressed - bahahah! but secondly, the situation called for not caring about being dressed or not as they needed help. one of the things we really love about the people here is how respectful they are of our privacy and our eccentricities. no worries about losing the comment - i can't even remember what i wrote so it couldn't have been important. just probably something about happy belated birthday to your son, and how much i love seeing pics of your place. xox

      Delete
    9. What was the other comment you left about? I may just be getting confused about the time line and actually have read it.

      Delete
    10. Hey Kymber,

      (captaincrunch)


      So you guys don't wear clothes sometimes, okay...what happens in the winter when the glaciers and polar bears come in???

      I think that if I lived their my bagpipes would freeze.

      Delete
    11. Hey Kymber and Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      almost forgot.....

      I heard a news story out in Houston I think, where some crazy guy was on the roof of a school (on a sunday) just doing some random shooting but did not hit anyone.
      Another guy was arrested at the same time playing 'Bagpipes" out on football field. The police realized the bagpiper had nothing do with the shooter and released him and his bagpipes.

      I think the shooter on the roof was nuts and the bagpiper was so horrible, the police arrested him just to shut him up.

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    12. Kymber, I looked and looked and I couldn't find the comment. It might have gone to an ealier post, that happens sometimes. It should have shown up in my email but I know for a fact that doesn't always work, because there will be comments in the "awaiting moderation" folder on the "design" page of the blog, but no email to match. It may be I am doing something wrong on my end. Blogging used to be really easy, then Google started adding all these symbols, little circles and little bells, and I have no idea what the hell they are. If I click on them, it shows a post from someone else's blog. I could understand it if I knew the blog, but sometimes I don't. I think it might have something to do with "circles." Because sometimes I join circles on blogs I like, and sometimes people I don't know join my "circle" but I don't really know what any of it means. Also, sometimes a comment will have a G+1 symbol superimposed on it when I am looking at them on the blog, but I don't know what that means either.

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    13. In the wrong place, at the wrong time I guess. At least they let the guy go.

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    14. captain - in the winter we are always out in the greenhouse or on our plastic-wrapped porch...we suntan in both of those places during winter. then it's just a matter of throwing on our bathrobes and running to the hot tub several times a day...i know, life is pretty hard!

      Harry - don't worry about the comment and don't worry about blogger's new stuff...i ignore all of the circle stuff and the new bells and whistles. and don't worry about the comment - like i said above - it was probably just me wishing your son a belated birthday and telling you how much i like pics of your place!

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    15. Kymber, It worries me that I can't find it, because it hurts people's feelings when you don't post their comments, and they think you did it intentionally. I know one time someone left a comment that started "I have an SKS..." but when I posted it, I never found it on the blog. I went back and searched and searched, but never did come up with it and I am sure that person thinks I was a real jerk.

      Blogger has enough problems, of the intermittent, untrackable nature that I probably lose more comments than I know.

      I have all I can do to handle blogger as it is. These new things that tie into all of Googles social networking are just too much for me. I hope people understand that and don't expect me to know how to do all of it.

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  3. I am brave enough to live here, as if i have any choice, i am not sure if i could live in your area the way you live, i am so scared at winter when we have the not so big storms here.

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    1. Yael, I actually like the storms, at least, the big thunder and lightning storms. Snow storms are a different matter, and the worst of all is ice storms. Those are really bad.

      But as an Israeli, I think you can pretty much defy anyone to say that they live under more stressful external conditions than you do. After all, we don't have lunatics dropping rockets on us periodically. From the pictures you have posted, you have a really nice place, and a great family close by. You're doing ok .

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  4. Normally I enjoy a quiet Sunday like yours. Today, however, I am up to my butt in pickles and sauerkraut. Son went to the Farmer's Market early this morning and brought me cucumbers and 5 huge cabbage. That's OK, though. I will be glad to add both to my food storage shelves.

    Odd the dogs should howl. The only time mine ever did was if there was a sound like a siren that bothered their ears. Sounds like they are a pretty good Early Warning System. I miss mine for that reason, among others.

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    1. Spending the day laying up supplies sounds like a good use of the time, Vicki. I like sauerkraut, but I have to buy it in town as I can't make it myself.

      It really is strange about the howling. There's nothing around here I'm aware of that would make a noise they could hear and I couldn't, and they bark furiously when they are disturbed. Belle, I can see it, as she's a hound dog. But Tuggy is a Labrador and she almost never howls. I guess it's just one of those things that happens up here I'll never figure out. There's something in the woods that makes a hair raising shriek, but only late at night. A friend told me it was a screech owl, and send me a web link that you could listen to different bird calls, but the screech owl wasn't anything like I've been hearing up here for more than 30 years. What ever it is, it doesn't sound like an owl. If this were my father's time, he would say it was a banshee.

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  5. What a beautiful house you have! Samson barks at canines and bobcats, but when the bears come around, he just walks around with his nose up in the air, looking anxious. Maybe you had a bear visitor.

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    1. Hey, Inger. Glad all the turmoil out your way ended and you can relax at home again. I was watching events out there and was relieved when the Sheriff's Deputies killed that predator.

      The house is comfortable. I have the main house, a shop with an apartment over it, a barn, and a "shed" that I store flammable liquids in. We have a glass room built on to the house for my wife outdoor plants in winter time. The trees cover everything in summer, and shade us from the broiling sun. It's a good place to live.

      Bears are not infrequent visitors or passersby here, and the dogs either ignore them, or bark, depending on the proximity of the bear to the porch, and whether or not the dogs have just finished a big meal, in which case they don't care what happens around the place.

      This was something out there that both the dogs and cats were aware of, but why it caused howling I just don't know.

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  6. Looks like a beautiful, tranquil home you have there, Harry.

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    1. Dr. Jim, I've lived up here for more than 30 years. It's a tranquil spot. I'm tucked into the national forest on three sides, and own enough land down the fourth side (the mountain face) to keep people from encroaching on me.

      I've got everything I need up here. It's pretty good to be retired and be able to live in seclusion.

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    2. Yeah, I've seen properties a lot like yours in my search of the Fort Collins area, where we'll be moving to in 18~24 months.

      It's too isolated for my wife, but I could probably do OK in a place like yours.

      Our soon to be in-laws live up at 7500' in the Roosevelt National Forest, and own about 35 acres. Their nearest "neighbor" is about 20 minutes away, but because of the way the road twists and turns, I have no idea how far it is.

      The only thing that really turns me off about living there is you take a gravel road that's about 1-1/2 lanes wide to get there.

      That would make it really hard to get my "Project Car" in and out of there.

      And although it might only be 10~12 miles off the pavement, it takes about 45 minutes *in good weather* to go to/from their house.

      My sweet little wife is just way too "citified" to live there!

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    3. That's actually a good thing, about the road. The harder it is to navigate it, the fewer people will come up there and bother you. To get away from everything, it has to be hard to get in and get out. I know I've moaned and groaned about how hard it is to get up and down the mountain on my trail, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It virtually guarantees my privacy, and I don't go out that much anyway.

      I know what you mean about the car though. I've had to move things like fuel tanks, propane tanks, etc up the mountain in the past and it's hellish. It calls for more planning than an amphibious assault, and just as much goes wrong.

      My wife came up here with me when I got out of the Marines because I really needed to get away and she knew it, so she came along. I don't think she has really liked living here as much as she would have liked a nice city with grocery stores and restaurants just minutes away. She's been a good wife. That's why, when she retires in 4 years or so, we are looking at some different ideas about how she could enjoy a less isolated existence and I would still be able to survive. I cant' live crowded in with people. We're trying to figure out a compromise.

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    4. It wouldn't bother me too much if my closest neighbor was 1/2 mile away!

      I'll be very happy when we're out of here. There's just too damned many people living in SoCal, and at least 25% of them don't have a legal right to be here!

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    5. Inger lives out in the desert somewhere in Southern California and she has a nice place. But that's the only way I would even consider it. I don't want to be anywhere near some place like L.A. both because of the societal problems there, and because it's a major terrorist target. I've been to L.A. and I sure didn't leave anything there I'm going back to get!

      Delete
  7. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I think Ringo, Georgia is in Northwest Georgia (or Ringgold) That's where Parkway RV is located at.
    On the Youtube ad. The salesman was saying that you can fly into Chattanoga and they will drive up and pick a customer up at the airport, so I assume I got the name right.

    I like the self propelled RV's, but the only problem with the Class C RV, or whatever model it is, needs mechanical work. It could sit in the shop for days and the owner would have to live in a motel for days while the RV is in the shop.

    Now a solution for that is having an RV travel trailer. Park the trailer at a decent RV park for a few days, and live in the trailer and leave the pickup truck at a dent repair shop.
    The travel trailers I am looking at are the used Forest River work and play toy haulers. Big, rugged metal boxes than can hold lots of gear and stuff.

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    1. I am pretty sure you mean Ringold, which is up near Chattanooga.

      I want something I can go way the hell of the road with, like out to the three gorge area on the Snake river in the high desert of Oregon. I've been out there and I'm pretty sure one of those self contained vehicles could make it in, but I doubt a trailer could. If you are going to stay right on the road and stay at camp grounds, though, I am sure the trailer would be as good or better.

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  8. One of the people down the road was shooting a lot this weekend, but probably target practice I am sure.

    I was dealing with the apples from our apple tree all weekend. I am wore out! Put up 40 pints though... Mostly applesauce but also a batch of apple butter. We still have some left but we are dehydrating all that remain.

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    1. Wow. 40 pints! You got a lot done, and that food is good as gold on your shelves. Applesauce and Apple Butter are both good foods. Everybody needs some sweet tasting things like that in the long term food storage, but a lot of people over look it.

      If all the shooting had been during the day, I would have paid it no mind. But being at night, and hearing it echoing through the mountains, makes me think some midnight shenanigans went bad in the forest.

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  9. Pretty freaky when the critters act up in a strange way. Probably just bigfoot coming around. In these parts the old loggers used to refer to the "woods devils." The natives used to believe in a "man of the woods who used his magic to stay hidden." Part of me would like to think such a critter is possible. The world is a weird and mysterous place.

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    1. The Cherokee here had a myth about Ushinka. Ushinka were half man, half wolves. They lurked around the edges of the forest, and they liked to pick off hunters returning to the camp at dusk, or women and children who wandered too far collecting roots or berries. They were malevolent creatures and much feared. I found a painting an artist had drawn of one when I was trying to learn about the Cherokee, and I'd not like to meet one of them on a lonely path as the sun went down.

      Strangely enough, in a town not so far from here, there was a "big foot" sighting made by a highway patrolman who had his dash cam on and "something" ran across the road in front of him. I saw the video and it wasn't any bear.

      However, Discovery Channel sent a crew down there to film an episode of their terrible series "In Search of Bigfoot" or some such title, and they were so hokey, running around in the woods at night going "what's that!" "Did you hear that!" , that the whole thing turned into a big joke.

      Well, be it Big Foot, or Ushinka, or a hobo, something was out there that caused a very strange reaction in my dogs. No way I was going off the porch into the woods to see what it was.

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  10. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    check this out on Polish civilian militia's on youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzbCkHxNxvc

    Gotta love a people that have been invaded countless times before and still got the balls to stand up and give the invaders hell.

    If Russia trys to take Poland next time around. I think Poland will turn into another Afghanistan for the Russians.

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    1. CC, I'll take a look. The Poles and the Russians go back at least 300 years in terms of fighting wars against each other. Ever see the old Yul Brenner movie, Taurus Bulba. ? I'll take a look at the video link.

      I have a book about the Soviet/Polish war in the early 1920's. There was a Polish Air Force squadron made up entirely of American aviators, flying Austro Hungarian fighters from WW1, in that war.

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  11. do you ever go out with the dogs the day after a night disturbance to see if you can find any spoor?

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    1. Deb, the ground inside the tree line is covered with a thick layer of spongy pine needles, leaves, etc. Especially after a rain, it doesn't hold any tracks.
      The ground around my house is rock hard red clay, it's so hard it doesn't even leave tracks when I drive a vehicle over it. The forest floor is infested with ticks and chiggers, too, so I don't go out there unless I am working in it, and then I "blouse" my trouser legs over my boot tops and put flea collars around my boot tops as well.

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  12. That's good your daughter had a party for your son. I bet he appreciated that. How fun. It just sucks that you weren't able to talk to him.

    We had a friend party for Mica this weekend. I told him that there will be no more friend parties after age 10. It's just such a pain. It would be ok if we didn't have a family party. Doing both just sucks. No more.

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  13. Alissa, birthday parties were always big for us. Even my wife and I would have a party with the kids. We got a bakery cake at the grocery store, and ice cream, and whoever was having the birthday would get small gifts from the others. We did that right up until the kids left home in their late teens. After that, we always send our son and daughter some money for their birthday, but we don't celebrate our own anymore at home. In fact, we often forget them.

    We never had "friends" parties because when our children were little, the county was sparsely settled out here and there were very few children living within a reasonable distance. At halloween we had to drive into town and let them do trick or treat on the town square, where the merchants handed out candy. That's a tradition in North Georgia, since the homes used to be so far apart in the old times.

    Oddly enough, the pawn broker on the town square handed out the best candy and was very popular with the children.

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  14. I'm afraid we're all going to be answering the door naked with the news today from Wall Street. All that is, except for the few very wise folks who post here and know that the writing is on the wall...

    First thing tomorrow I am headed down to my bank to withdraw enough cash to get me through at least 30 days if need be. Tonight i'm taking inventory of the pantry. I'm afraid we are a soon-to-be-Greece nation Harry. If I may suggest to all the good folks here to do the same and have some cash on hand. The central bankers don't care if you are hungry. My apologies if I am preaching to the choir.

    Anyways, hope you don't have anymore "sasquatches" running around your place Harry. More importantly, hope you can sleep. I'm not getting enough these days it seems like.

    BTW, have you seen this neat little item? saw it over at Rawles place: http://22lrreloader.com/
    -Troy

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    1. Troy, I wrote today's post before I saw your comment, so I guess it 's a case of "great minds think alike."

      My wife and I added some cash to the stash while we were out Saturday.

      I have been watching the market because of the overall damage it could do to the society, but not because it can hurt me. After the debacle in 1007-2008, I took my losses and got out of stocks. Now my money is in tangibles. There are a lot of things you can touch and hold that retain their value when paper money is just germy toilet paper.

      I don't think you are preaching to the choir. A lot of people come by here who never leave a comment. Some of them are just curious, some are interested in specific aspects of self sufficiency but don't want to be identified with odd ball survivalists and preppers. I imagine there are a lot of individuals out there right at this moment who are wondering what's coming down the pike.

      I'm good on food, medicine, animal feed, guns, ammo, and at least in decent shape on everything else. I am considering getting in touch with my friends/associates who would be coming up here in a big bust, and reassuring myself that everyone is being careful about events right now and doing the right thing. I'm not doing a Chicken Little and urging everyone to come up now. Instead I'm just asking them to check their preparations and be ready. It never hurts to do a reality check ever so often anyway.

      We live in interesting times........

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    2. Haven't seen that at Rawles. He's been having some server problems again. I'll go over and check it out.

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  15. I have hardly written a thing lately, ever since my leg/knee issues. Just when I'm about back to normal, I throw it out again. I'd planned a day in the chicken coop and garden yesterday but ended up sitting with my leg propped up trying to get my knee back in place. (Almost there).

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    1. Kathy, I know you have had a really bad time, both with having to go through all that with ill health in the family, and then your own problems. I also know how bad knee problems can be, since that's one of my own issues. I hope you get better soon and can just take it easy until you start to heal up.

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